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Business start-ups

Start-ups are of great importance for economic dynamics and the renewal of the municipal knowledge base. A distinction must be made between commercial and freelance start-ups.

Balance of commercial start-ups remains stable

The number of new businesses founded in Bonn in 2022 was 2,277. Compared with the previous year, the number of new businesses founded in Bonn thus fell by minus 8.8 percent. In NRW as a whole, the decline was much weaker at minus 4.6 percent. At the same time, the number of business deregistrations in Bonn also fell sharply by minus 11.9 percent, with a total of exactly 1,633 deregistrations in 2022. In contrast, the average number of deregistrations in the state increased significantly by 7.1 percent over the year. Due to the decline in business deregistrations, the net number of new businesses in Bonn in 2022 is clearly positive at plus 644, almost exactly the same as the previous year's figure of 645.

Freelance startups

With the study "Freiberufliche Existenzgründungen in Deutschland und seinen Regionen im Jahr 2014," the Bonn-based Institut für Mittelstandsforschung (IfM) has for the first time comprehensively determined the number of start-ups in the liberal professions on the basis of data from the financial administration. The start-up activity of the liberal professions is primarily concentrated in large cities, whereby the IfM researchers assume that these are particularly attractive for start-ups of the liberal professions "when the local demand for services is stimulated by governmental or administrative institutions, corporate headquarters and/or numerous cultural institutions. In addition, resident universities as well as other educational and research institutions generate a large labor force potential for liberal professions with a tendency toward high affinity for self-employment." 

According to IfM data, 526 start-ups in the liberal professions were registered in the federal city of Bonn in 2022 (2021: 630, 2020: 585, 2019: 737). This corresponds to rank 24 of all 401 German independent cities and counties (previous year: rank 18). In the Rhine-Sieg district, 670 people took up freelance work.

In terms of the Bonn spatial planning region (ROR), which comprises the city of Bonn and the Rhein-Sieg district, the number of business startups in 2022 is 1,196. The values for freelance business startup intensity (business startups per 10,000 employable inhabitants*) are 24.6 in Bonn and 18.6 in the Rhein-Sieg district. The value for the Bonn spatial planning region is 20.8 (business startups per 10,000 employable inhabitants*). 

Compared to all 96 German regional planning regions, the Bonn ROR is in 9th place (previous year: 6th place). This means that the Bonn ROR is once again among the 10 regional planning regions with the highest propensity to start up in the liberal professions. Leading the way here are the RORs of Berlin (start-up intensity of 49.9), Hamburg (35.0), West Saxony/Leipzig (34.3), Munich (32.7) and Cologne (28.4).

Insolvencies unchanged

In Bonn, a total of 51 companies filed for insolvency proceedings in 2022, compared with a total of 50 companies in 2021. A total of 242 employees were affected in 2022.

Self-employment rate continues to decline

The self-employment rate measures the percentage of self-employed persons among all employed persons at the place of work. According to the data currently available, the number of self-employed persons in Bonn in 2021 was 15,700 (previous year: 16,200); the number of employed persons was 256,400 (previous year: 254,400). This corresponds to a slightly lower self-employment rate of 6.1 percent in Bonn compared with the previous year (previous year: 6.4 percent). It should be noted that the absolute number of self-employed persons decreased by 500. At the same time, the total number of employed persons increased by 2,000. The number of employees in 2021 was 240,700; according to the definition of the Federal Statistical Office, these are blue-collar workers, white-collar workers, civil servants, soldiers and trainees. The self-employment rate for NRW as a whole was 8 percent in 2021, which is also down on the previous year, by 0.2 percentage points.

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